The Walt Disney Company always has plenty of projects going on, and no one ever really knows just what else is on tap. As reported by the Inquisitr, Disney purchased 965 acres of ranch land near Celebration, Florida — which isn’t too far away from its Walt Disney World Resort. Now, it appears as if the house of Mickey Mouse isn’t quite done, as the company has purchased another 1,500 or more acres in Osceola County. The purchase is said to be a sum of $11 million.
This land transaction is one that has been in the works for a very long time — and better yet, is one that Disney has wanted to happen for decades.
According to GrowthSpotter, Disney finally convinced the family of iconic cattle rancher Oren Brown to sell a great deal of their ranch property on January 3, 2019. For more than 50 years, Disney attempted to acquire the land from Brown and his descendants, but there would never be any budging on the family’s side.
Before Walt Disney World opened in October of 1971, Brown supposedly turned down an offer of $4.2 million for his land — even though he claims that it the offer was for less. Disney ended up building Walt Disney World a short distance away, but the company never stopped trying to get the ranch, and swamp land, that Brown owned.
They were never able to complete the transaction before Oren Brown died, in 1993.
Disney buys another 1,500+ acres in Osceola County for $11 million - GrowthSpotter https://t.co/GNwPMmcAac— GrowthSpotter (@orlandogrowth) January 9, 2019
Oren Brown was not one who was ever overly concerned with money, and as a seven-term county commissioner, he was fine with turning down Disney’s offers. Back in 1971, he said that Disney’s big come-up in Kissimmee was something that didn’t interest him too much.
“What’s money? It’s only paper, most of it… I never could keep money. The land, it won’t run off. Lots of people like money, but I don’t care so much for it. I reckon I’m peculiar that way.”
Despite the large land purchase, guests should not be overly confident that a fifth park — or additional resorts — are coming up in short order. It is expected that The Walt Disney Company will use the property for wetland mitigation and water conservation which could, in turn, be used to help their current parks.
Some may wonder why the recently-purchased BK Ranch cost more — at $23 million, per the Orlando Sentinel — for less land, but that area had been rezoned, and had proper permits in place. That ended up forcing the cost to go much higher than Brown’s land, which had “no entitlements” on it — as stated by John Adams, a partner with Central Florida Land Advisors.
For now, The Walt Disney Company has no plans in place to develop the new land they purchased in Osceola County. Many Disney guests and fans will feel as if Walt Disney World should expand with a fifth park or something more, but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.